Marshall basketball hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 1987, but head coach Dan D’Antoni is making progress in his third year with the program. The Thundering Herd got off to a 7-5 start this season and put up a good fight against a talented Pittsburgh team on Wednesday before falling 112-106.
Marshall kept it close by making 10-of-30 shots from three, which isn’t surprising when you realize their coach is the brother of Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni. When D’Antoni was questioned about the strategy after the game, he gave one of the best and most passionate defenses of basketball analytics you’ll ever hear.
Here’s the full transcript:
Dan D'Antoni is a national treasure that must be preserved at all costs. "I haven't finished my damn analytics story yet." pic.twitter.com/ze3QUkQYxx— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) December 29, 2016
Lest you think only weird people on the internet care about stats like “points per attempt,” the Marshall coach has the exact numbers memorized. He answered the reporter’s question about as impressively as possible. The reporter didn’t even know what hit him.
Meanwhile, D’Antoni’s brother has the Rockets taking historic levels of threes this year. Houston even broke an NBA record by attempting 61 triples in a game earlier this month. A year after barely making the playoffs as the No. 8 seed, the Rockets are now 24-9 and in third place in the West.
The numbers don’t lie. If it can work for the Rockets, maybe it can work for Marshall, too.